Lauren usually got home from work before Erin. She worked nearer, and was able to leave a little early, before the traffic got bad. Most days she came in, and got changed, and then flopped onto the couch and played video games until Erin turned up. Chasing imaginary people around imaginary worlds was a good way to unwind after work.
Usually she played for an hour or so, while Erin struggled her way across town in heavy traffic, and usually she was done by the time Erin got home.
Erin was early that day. She came in while Lauren was still playing, and while things in the game were getting a little complicated, and a little tense. The other team seemed to be trying to do some elaborate flanking move that was either so brilliantly devious Lauren couldn’t see how it would ever work, or just stupid.
Lauren glanced around when she heard the key in the front door, and called, “Hey,” when Erin came inside.
“Hi,” Erin said.
“Sorry,” Lauren said. “You’re early. I can’t stop right now.”
“It’s fine,” Erin said.
Erin came over and kissed Lauren, like she normally did, then leaned on the back of the couch, sort of watching the screen, sort of stroking Lauren’s hair.
“I won’t be long,” Lauren said.
Erin kept stroking. It felt nice, although Lauren wasn’t sure why Erin was. It was a change in routine. Normally Erin would just go past and call hello and go down to the bedroom to change.
Erin was home early too. Lauren was suddenly worried, wondering if Erin was upset about something, and needed more from Lauren than being ignored.
“Are you all right?” Lauren said.
“You’re sure?” Lauren said, wondering if she should stop playing and pay proper attention.
“You’re just sitting there. Kind of staring.”
“Yeah,” Erin said. “I love how you look when you’re doing that.”
“Yeah. You’re all focused on it.”
“Focused on killing this little fucker,” Lauren said, concentrating. Then, “Sorry, I’ll just…”
“That’s all?” Lauren said, after a moment. “Nothing’s wrong?”
Erin shook her head. Lauren saw the movement out the corner of her eye.
“Just how you’re concentrating,” Erin said. “You’re really hot when you’re like that.”
Lauren glanced up at her for a second. “Oh,” she said.
“I guess I don’t see you doing this much,” Erin said.
“Yeah,” Lauren said. “Because of how I try to pay attention to you when you’re here.”
Erin probably smiled. Lauren was pretty sure. She didn’t need to look up to check.
“It’s really fine,” Erin said.
After a moment, still feeling guilty, Lauren said, “It’s just that you’re early.”
“So I was doing this. I’d have stopped if I knew you’d be home early.”
Erin kept stroking Lauren’s hair. She shifted to Lauren’s neck.
“That’s nice,” Lauren said. “But hold on.”
Erin moved. She came around the couch, and knelt on the floor in from of Lauren. Knelt and slid sideways, staying low, so she was out of the way of the screen. Lauren didn’t play much when Erin was around, but she had enough that Erin knew split-seconds mattered and to keep her head out of Lauren’s line of sight when she was playing. And not to bump Lauren’s arms, not ever.
Erin leaned against the couch beside Lauren’s legs. She leaned, and kissed Lauren’s knee. Lauren had shorts on, and had a fair bit of bare skin for Erin to kiss.
Erin started to kiss it. She kept kissing, like she planned to kiss all the skin she could reach.
That might be a problem, Lauren decided. The getting distracted. If she wanted to stay focused on the game.
“Hold on,” Lauren said. “It’s like three minutes left.”
“Okay,” Erin said, and kissed Lauren’s legs some more.
“Wait,” Lauren said. “Seriously. You’ll distract me.”
“Doesn’t help,” Lauren said, already distracted.
Erin kept kissing her. Slowly. She was very distracting.
She pulled on Lauren’s shorts, got them down a little way.
“Hey,” Lauren said.
“I’ll start without you.”
“Don’t,” Lauren said, “Please. I really need to…”
She stopped. She didn’t know why it mattered. She’d said that because she ought to say it. Because Erin touching her would make her hands shake and affect her aim, and also because it seemed wrong to keep playing while Erin ate her out.
Which Erin was about to do anyway.
Lauren knew Erin, and Erin knew Lauren annoyingly well. Erin would be able to tell that the exact second Lauren stopped worrying about the game, and taking it seriously, and started noticing she was horny instead.
Erin waited just that long.
Then she tugged at Lauren’s shorts until Lauren lifted up her ass and let her slide them downwards, and got enough of Lauren bare that she could lick her slowly.
Lick, and make Lauren shiver.
Lauren tried to concentrate on the game. She found the lurking sniper she’d been after, and moved to get a clear shot. She missed, because her hands were trembling, and said, “Fuck,” then ran for cover herself. The other team would be looking for her, now.
Erin kept licking.
“What’s going on,” Lauren said, after a while. Her mouth felt dry. Her voice seemed a little hoarse, even to her. “What’s your problem tonight?”
“I mean, what’s all this? You don’t normally.”
“Thinking in traffic,” Erin said.
“Thinking about sex in traffic?”
“Yep,” Erin said, and pulled at Lauren’s shorts some more. She got them out from under Lauren’s legs, down past her knees, then lifted Lauren’s feet one at a time so the shorts came right off.
“Wait a sec,” Lauren said. “Please. Just fucking please.”
Erin ignored her. She put her mouth back on Lauren’s pussy. She sucked on Lauren and slithered her tongue around and kissed Lauren’s lips so slowly and intensely that Lauren couldn’t think. Kissed until Lauren was sighing and closing her eyes for half a second at a time, despite trying hard not to do either.
Erin turned Lauren on. Any time Erin touched her, any time she touched Erin’s skin, even just her arm or shoulder or face, she wanted Erin. Any time she felt her fingers slip inside Erin, she got wet and shaky herself.
Even though they’d been together for months.
Lauren tried to concentrate on being eaten out and playing badly at the same time. She realized she was sliding downwards on the couch, moving towards Erin’s mouth without meaning to. She ended up half lying on her back, not sitting up at all. She was having trouble seeing past Erin’s shoulders, and wasn’t playing as well either. Lying down was affecting her aim.
Being distracted was too.
She wriggled back up, and Erin followed her.
“Please,” Lauren said, and Erin ignored her.
Lauren lived for Erin, and loved Erin, but she still wanted to win this game. She pushed at Erin almost irritably when Erin’s shoulders got in the way of the screen.
The round ended.
Erin was still licking her.
Lauren was close. She also hadn’t done as well as she hoped in the game, and that annoyed her a little, but she was also close to coming and didn’t much care.
Lauren put her hand on Erin’s hair, and stroked her for a moment. Closed her eyes, and felt Erin’s mouth, and forgot about the game.
For half a minute.
The next match started. Lauren heard the music change and opened her eyes. Everyone else must have pushed the ready button right away, so Lauren was dragged into the game too. That, or she could leave, but she was playing with a group of friends, and didn’t want to disappear on them without warning.
She also didn’t think Erin had noticed.
She tried to keep her eyes open and concentrate, but Erin was doing something with her lips and the insides of Lauren that made that very difficult.
The game started.
Lauren kept playing, but not playing well. She did her best. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do when she came, and she almost hoped Erin would give up and stop before it happened. Except that she didn’t really hope that, and she knew Erin wouldn’t anyway. Now that she’d started, Erin would stay down there for an hour if she had to.
In the game, Lauren kept moving around. She started running, hoping to find somewhere to hide for a thirty seconds while Erin finished her off.
Running constantly, staying away from everyone else.
People were probably going to start noticing.
There was a gunfight somewhere across the other side of the map. She heard distant shooting, and saw a couple of kill notifications scroll past the corner of the screen.
She kept running.
Then stopped, and looked at the screen, and started to laugh.
Erin looked up, a bit confused. “What’s so funny?”
Lauren pointed. On the screen, in the in-game chat, someone had called her a lessie dyke.
“What the fuck?” Erin said, looking at it. She seemed upset. Upset instantly, and annoyed too.
“Come on,” Lauren said. “That’s kind of funny, right now, this second, don’t you think?”
“Not saying it like that.”
Lauren shrugged. Gaming was a different world, she supposed. A horrible one, sometimes. “That’s pretty harmless as far as it goes,” she said.
“It isn’t,” Erin said. “Not really.” She looked again. “And it’s, what do you call it, saying the same thing twice.”
“Yeah,” Lauren said, playing better now Erin had stopped licking her, circling towards that last fight, watching her aim. “But also, you were going down on me at the time, so that’s fucking funny.”
“I get it.”
“You weren’t laughing so thought maybe you didn’t.”
“I got it. Just calling you that isn’t okay.”
“Calling me that is pretty fucking mild for what I get called sometimes.”
Erin looked at Lauren, and actually seemed upset. She was still sitting between Lauren’s knees, looking up at her face. Lauren could see her as well as the screen.
Erin was upset. She looked worried.
Like she’d look if someone shouted that at them in the street.
“He’s just pissed because someone got him,” Lauren said. “It happens.”
“People call you names?”
“Oh yeah, he didn’t mean…” She stopped, and concentrated on a building in the distance, where she thought she’d seen someone move. After a moment she decided not, and started running again. “It didn’t mean me, like me specifically, because he knows who I am or something. Just it’s obvious I’m a girl from my name, so they say shit like that.”
“Yeah. Just shit.”
“That doesn’t seem cool.”
Lauren shrugged again. It wasn’t, but it wasn’t like she was going to get upset if someone asked if she liked eating pussy. Because she did, and she wasn’t going to let strangers judge her that much.
“What other kind of shit,” Erin said, after a moment.
“No other kind of shit we need to talk about.”
Erin kept looking at her. Lauren didn’t look back. She was in cover, moving carefully, trying to watch a corner she expected someone to appear around.
She didn’t want Erin upset, but she didn’t want to talk about this either. Not right now. Right now she either wanted to get head or play.
She supposed Erin wasn’t used to gaming. Erin didn’t see have the awful things people said to each other all the time.
“It’s not a big deal,” Lauren said. “I’d say shit too, maybe. If I was fourteen.”
“No you wouldn’t.”
“I might, except how I’m good at this, and winning, and that’s what’s pissing him off. And the winning means I aren’t just sitting there at home right now with nothing else to do but talk shit at people.”
“But this happens all the time?”
Erin started to turn around, to look at the screen. Lauren grabbed her head and pulled it back, “Don’t,” she said.
She kept trying to aim one-handed. Holding Erin. Erin tired to turn around again.
“Really don’t,” Lauren said. “Please.”
There was more chat up on the screen, from the same guy, because he had nothing better to do but sit there and call Lauren vile shit. She was a better player than him, and there was a whole slew of entitlement and victimising the obvious woman that would upset her if she ever thought about it. But it was just there, and always had been, and there wasn’t much she could if she wanted to game with strangers except leave if the words got too threatening.
Someone on Lauren’s team had died, and was talking back, trying to stick up for Lauren, but that wasn’t really helping since it was just more shit-talk about people’s sex-lives.
Which is what arguing in games, and arguing on the internet, always seemed to come down to. Calling names and hating.
Lauren usually just ignored it. But Erin wouldn’t. Erin hardly ever watched while Lauren was playing, and didn’t look at game sites either. She wouldn’t understand. She’d see the words as what they were, as what they actually meant. How Lauren should probably actually seem them too. As hate. Erin would see that, and would get upset, really upset.
Like fighting battles Lauren didn’t need fought upset.
Erin was still trying to look, and Lauren suddenly needed her other hand. It had got to a point where standing in one place shooting wasn’t going to work.
She needed her other hand to run.
She let go of Erin’s face, and hooked her leg around Erin’s back instead. Pulled her closer, and stopped her turning as easily.
She felt like someone in a game for a moment, a multitasking hero, fighting and holding Erin and getting head, all at once.
“Don’t,” Lauren said again, as serious as she could. “Please. This game is important, and you fighting with me is going to fuck up my aim.”
Erin didn’t play, and had no idea how to judge what a particular round counted for, no idea what important even meant in a game She didn’t get ladders and leader-boards. She got Lauren, though, and knew when something was important to her.
Erin nodded. “Okay,” she said.
“Don’t look. Just let me finish.”
Lauren leaned forward and kissed Erin quickly.
Kissed, and tasted herself on Erin’s mouth. That reminded her. “Weren’t you doing something?” she said.
“Weren’t you supposed to be paying actual attention to me instead of that?”
“I will,” Lauren said. “I promise. In just a second.”
Erin looked at her for a moment, then grinned. She bent over, and went back to eating Lauren out. Lauren wriggled around, moved her knee, put one foot up on the couch, and got so she could see the screen and push up against Erin’s mouth at the same time.
She was still close.
She was achingly close, was slipping into that place where holding it off might make her come harder, but it also might make her just not. Waiting might make it disappear and just get lost, somewhere inside her, wherever failed orgasms went.
All the same, she kept playing. The game was close to ending the round.
Not close enough.
Lauren was closer.
Erin’s mouth was making her ache, making her actually hurt from squeezing and holding back and trying not to.
In the end she typed sorry and she had to go, typed quickly, then put the down the controller, and grabbed Erin’s arms, and pulled her upwards. Pulled her up and kissed her. Licked the taste of herself from Erin’s lips, and said, “I love you,” into Erin’s mouth. “I love you, even if you’re interrupty as fuck.”
She pushed Erin back down, and willed herself to finish, quickly.
Lauren slid her hand down Erin’s back, over her shirt, into the back of Erin’s trousers, inside the warm gap between Erin’s back and the waistband. She stretched, reached over Erin’s ass, and could slide far enough she could almost touch Erin’s pussy.
Erin moved her hips away.
“Let me,” Lauren said. “I want to touch you.”
Erin shook her head, and slid backwards a little more.
Lauren didn’t care. She was close. She hung there for a moment, aching, waiting for it to happen.
As she did realized her foot had ended up on the coffee table, and tried to keep it still. Tried not to kick anything on the coffee table as she came.
She managed, just. It twitched a little.
As soon as she finished, almost before she finished, she was sliding after Erin, pulling her up onto the couch, yanking off Erin’s work pants so she could go down on her in return.
She didn’t know why it was like this with Erin, but getting head, having sex, just made her want Erin in her mouth too.
She needed Erin, but she checked the TV screen quickly, too. The game was still going. She’d been killed, but didn’t seem to have been kicked out. She felt a little bad, because that would mess up her team’s score. She was floating above the battlefield, following a team member around. Everything was fine for now.
She bumped the controller so the connection didn’t drop, moved Erin’s knee to the side so she had more space, and said, “You really are a terrible interruption.”
Erin just smiled, and stroked her face.
“I’m going to be quick,” Lauren said.
“Real fucking quick.”
“As quick as I can,” Lauren said.
She glanced at the screen a final time, then concentrated on Erin. On kissing her, and holding her breasts through her clothes, and sliding her hands up and down Erin’s legs. On going down on Erin, so her mouth filled with Erin’s taste, and each breath came with the smell of Erin’s skin. On licking Erin out as well and fast and deftly as she could, doing everything she knew Erin liked, doing it as well as she could, making this quick. She licked until Erin was sighing and holding Lauren’s hair and the taste of Erin’s wetness in Lauren’s mouth changed. Erin’s hips lifted up off the sofa, and suddenly she came too.
Lauren liked how easily they could get each other off. How much the were into each other, and how well they knew each other too.
Erin was coming, and gasping for breath, and whispering, “Oh wow,” and Lauren stroked her tummy and breathed in her smell and stayed where she was for a moment, until Erin was done.
Then she sat up, turned around, and pulled her shorts back on. She wiped her hand on her shirt, quickly, and picked up the controller.
“Um, yuk,” Erin said, watching.
Lauren didn’t get that. Pussy in their mouths was fine, but on other things around the house was bad.
“You don’t play,” she said. “You’re not going to touch it. So shut up.”
“It’s yours anyway,” Lauren said. “The wet. That’s the kind I like.”
Erin pulled a face and went to pee. She always peed after sex, just because you were meant to. Lauren thought that was only after you’d had things inside you, and didn’t bother if the things were only fingers, but Erin was more fussy.
Lauren went back to the game.
The round had finished. Everyone was back in the lobby. The abusive guy was gone, maybe on his own, but maybe they’d had a kick vote while Lauren wasn’t looking. They were waiting for Lauren, which was sweet. Fiddling with equipment and tweaking their guns while they did.
Someone had gone into the chat and made enough blank lines that the window had scrolled up and the awful things weren’t visible any more.
Lauren was glad. She thought that was pretty decent of whoever it was.
Not everyone was a total shit.
Lauren said she was back, then said and waited while people finished up their gear changes.
Erin came back into the room. She sat down beside Lauren, then leaned over and kissed her. Then just sat there. She seemed to be looking at the screen. Looking carefully. She seemed to be noticing the game, and the chat, and what people were doing for the first time.
A couple of people were talking about guns. Someone had unlocked a particular one, and the other person was asking what it was, and they started taking about rate of fire delays and damage per second.
People started pushing buttons to say they were ready. Lauren did too.
Erin picked up her work trousers from the floor, and folded them, being neat. She kept looking at the screen.
She was worried, Lauren thought. It was pretty clear. Erin lived in a world where you didn’t just get abused for no reason, so if you suddenly were, it meant a lot. It was personal, and meant someone wanted to hurt you, specifically, and that you should be afraid of the consequences of what they were saying.
And that was how it ought to be.
You should get to feel scared if someone was cruel to you, Lauren thought.
She wondered if she’d been gaming too long, around this kind of awfulness too long. If she’d got so used to a background of abuse she hardly noticed any more.
As often as not she did it back.
It probably wasn’t right, she thought. It probably was actually something to be worried about. Increasing the general awfulness in society without any good reason couldn’t be a good thing.
“Does that happened a lot?” Erin said, in the end.
“It’s pretty awful.”
“It was funny,” Lauren said, trying to make Erin less concerned. “That time it was. What he said.”
“The rest of it, though. That it happens a lot?”
“Sometimes,” Lauren said. “But really don’t worry. It’s not personal, you know?”
“It seems personal.”
“Trust me,” Lauren said. “Please. It isn’t.”
The game was about to start. There was a countdown on the screen even Erin couldn’t miss.
“I’ll just play a bit more,” Lauren said, and Erin kissed her again, then got up, and went to get changed.
Lauren finished another game, then sat for a moment, and thought.
She pulled up the console’s system menu, and went to the page of people she’d played against lately, and found the guy who’d called her names.
She thought again, thought carefully, then decided she would. He hadn’t said anything violent, and he hadn’t exactly threatened her. Not like some people did. At the beginning of it, before other people joined in, he hadn’t actually called her anything she wasn’t. For what that mattered.
She sent him a message saying, “Dude, it isn’t cool to call people shit like that. My girlfriend saw it and now she’s pretty upset.”
After a few minutes she got a message back. Just, “Yeah, sorry.”
It wasn’t much of an apology, but it also wasn’t abuse.
He didn’t sound fourteen, so she almost sent another. Saying he didn’t know who else was around, or what the had going on, or what might really fuck up someone’s day.
Then she decided not. She’d said what she wanted to say. She’d probably only got that apology because she’d said girlfriend, because everything was made more complicated by that word, both good and bad.
She sat there for a moment, then decided that was enough.
She went back to the game.
She’d have to watch out for this, though, for the threats and name-calling. She’d have to stop seeing it as quite so normal.
She ought to play more often with Erin in the room, too, she thought. As a kind of test of what was going on. Now she thought about it, she wondered if she’d been avoiding playing with Erin around exactly because of all this.
It seemed like a start, though. Like she might start changing what she put up with from here, and that wasn’t a bad thing.
She switched weapons as she went back in, took an assault rifle rather than a sniper. Her mood was different. Because of the sex, or because of sending that message, perhaps. She felt like getting up close, now like running at people all full of pride and courage and shooting them up close, not like sneaking around at the edges of things any more.
The game started, and she did.